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Lesson 40 – الدَّرْسُ الأرْبَعونَ

Indeclension of the Imperative Verb – بِنَاءُ فِعْل الأَمْر

Introduction - مُقَدِّمَةٌ

  • We learnt before that the Arabic verb is originally indeclinable and that declension is considered a special case for the present verb (the present verb is declinable except in two situations:
    1. The direct attach to the Nūn of assurance (nūn attawkīd)
    2. The connection to the Nūn of feminine plural (Nūn anniswah).
  • In this lesson In-Shā’-Allâh we will learn the imperative verb in its different situations, and the signs of its indeclension which differ according to the difference of these situations. 
  • There are three situations of the imperative verb. In each situation there is a different indeclension sign as follows:
    1. First: Imperative verb indeclension on the Sukūn (سُكون) i.e. (ـــْــ): This is in the original situation whenever the imperative is neither attached to a pronoun (except for the Nūn of the feminine plural) nor ended with a defective letter (long vowel).  This sign of Sukūn means that the verb ends with its last consonant letter (not a vowel). Consider the following examples:

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Translation

Transliteration

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Madinaharabic.com lesson image

Sleep early and wake up early, Hossam!

/yā Husām-u, nam mubakkir-an wastayqidh mubakkir-an/

يا حُسامُ، نَمْ مُبَكِّرًا واسْتَيْقِظْ مُبَكِّرًا.

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Write your homework and do not delay it to tomorrow!

/uktub wāĵibak-a wa lā tu'aĵĵil-hu ilā al- ghadi/

اُكْتُبْ وَاجِبَكَ ولا تُؤَجِّلْهُ إِلَى الْغَدِ.

    1. Second: Imperative verb indeclension on the omission of the Nūn (نُون)[the "N" letter (ن) in Arabic]: This sign is related to the situation of the five verbs (in lesson 35) where the verb is attached to one of the five pronouns, these pronouns are originally ended with Nūn in the indicative case of the present verb, but here we are dealing with only three of that five pronouns, because the imperative is not to be addressed to the third persons (they dual, and they plural). The omission of the Nūn letter is the sign of indeclension. Consider the following examples:

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Translation

Transliteration

Sentence

Madinaharabic.com lesson image

Write your lesson, Fatimah!

Yā Fāŧimatu uktub-ī darsak-i

يا فاطِمَةُ اُكْتُبِي دَرْسَكِ.

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Write your lesson, both of you [two], students!

Yā ŧâlibān-i uktub-ā darsakumā

يا طَالِبانِ اُكْتُبا دَرْسَكُما.

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Write your lesson, students!

Yā ŧullāb-u uktub-ū darsakum

يا طُلابُ اُكْتُبُوا دَرْسَكُم.

    1. Third: Imperative verb indeclension on the omission of the defective letter حَرْف العِلِّة, i.e: (ا alif, و waaw, and ي yaa'): This sign is related to the situation in which the verb is Nāqiŝ (ending with a defective letter) [see Lesson 32]. The omission of the defective letter in this situation is the sign of the imperative verb indeclension. Consider the following examples:

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Call people to do good deeds.

udξu annāsa lifiξl-i al-khayri

اُدْعُ النَّاسَ لِفِعْلِ الخَيْرِ.

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Always make effort between people for their good.

isξa bayna an-nās-i dā'im-an bilkhayri

اِسْعَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ دائِمًا بالخَيْرِ.

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Walk much because walking is useful for your health.

imshi kathīr-an falmashyu mufīd-un liŝiħħatik-a

اِمْشِ كَثيرًا فالمشي مُفِيدٌ لِصِحَّتِكَ.